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5 October 2012
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A personal note from Professor Sir Neil Douglas, Chairman of the Founding Council of the Faculty

I am hugely impressed that the membership of the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management has now reached over 1600 members. When we launched the Faculty last autumn achieving such a membership from zero in six months seemed a pipedream, but thanks to the enormous efforts of Peter Lees and the team, and above all to the enthusiasm of the profession for the concept, the organisation has achieved a flying start. Well done.

I strongly believe that one of the key changes needed to improve patient care in the NHS is to ensure that excellent doctors see entering management as attractive a career as becoming an expert clinician or a leading researcher. The UK has lagged behind many other countries in attracting the best into medical management and starting to rectify this was one of the six aims on my manifesto when I stood for Chair of the Academy three years ago. We have made a small but vitally important start.

However the Faculty is about much more than encouraging doctors to go into medical management. It is about giving doctors the skills and confidence to effectively lead colleagues and teams in all of their professional roles. That may be leading the clinical team in new directions to improve patient care, improving training for junior doctors, or teaching for undergraduates, or leading research into new areas. All require similar skill sets that include identification of areas for improvement, innovation, self-confidence, good collaborative skills and the ability to enthuse others. The challenge is to harness the enthusiasm already displayed by the members of the Faculty to improve these leadership skills and the use to which these are put for the benefit of patients.

I stand down as Chairman in July and look forward to watching the influence and output of the Faculty flourishing in the future. Good luck.

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